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On Tuesday, I had 99% of my new ‘Decision Making’ course done, when I asked someone male who I live with, who we’ll call ‘Ron’ to protect the guilty, to read it and tell me what they thought.

An hour later, this was the verdict: “This is brilliant stuff!” he said. But then, he completely ruined it by adding: “But no-one is ever going to buy your stuff, because you talk about God too much, and you’re too ahead of your time. It’s unsaleable.”

Dear reader, to say I felt like all the air had just been let out of my balloon is a gross understatement of how completely and utterly gutted I felt at that particular moment.

It’s one thing to give up a highly-lucrative job to follow the dictates of your soul (and to give your poor, neglected children some attention). It’s another thing to end up going through some incredibly tough times financially, when you start wondering if you should jack-in all your aspirations of writing meaningful, useful stuff to go and be a secretary, or something, to help pay off all the bills.

And then, it’s something else entirely when after all your inner struggles to try to give God what He wants, and to do the right thing, and to put some real spiritual light into the world, someone called ‘Ron’ comes along and tells you that because you can’t stick a price tag on it, it’s essentially a huge waste of time.

I spent the rest of Tuesday eating chocolate and feeling pretty miserable, as though my life, and everything I’ve learned and everything I’ve gone through the last few years was completely pointless, because it couldn’t help me get a mortgage. But BH, I did some kick-arse hitbodedut the next morning, and God gave me some profound reassurance that I should continue, regardless.

“But God, what about the house we just can’t afford to buy, unless I start bringing in some more cash? What about the mortgage?”

That’s when God gave me the clarity of the decade:

“Making money is not your job. It’s Ron’s problem.”

Hmm.

In fairness to Ron, he was massively disappointed on my behalf that my books weren’t really selling, and was also feeling a little guilty that he hadn’t been able to make enough over the last year to get us anywhere closer to ever owning our own home again. On some level, I think we’d both felt that if only my stuff could start earning something, that would solve all the problems.

Except….

God felt differently about the whole thing. You see Ron, like many other men out there, doesn’t always believe in his own abilities to do some wonderful things in the world. And like many other men in the world, Ron has a tendency to look for the short-cuts and the easy routes that aren’t really solving the problem, but are softening the edges of it.

In our modern world, sending the woman out to ‘earn some money’ is often the knee-jerk reaction that most of our Rons have, when faced with some sort of financial short-fall in the family finances.

But here’s the rub: men earn their emuna via making parnassa, and women get it from fixing their families.

I didn’t make up these rules, God did, as a result of chet Adam.

But in the meantime, they are cast-iron rules of the game, and we ignore them at our own peril. Here’s what happens when we ladies forget that Rons are the ones that need to be earning the money: We get duped into taking stressful, soul-destroying jobs, or going for high-flying careers, that fill our whole day with deadlines and pressure and give us precious little time or head-space for dealing with our real full-time job, i.e., fixing Ron and all the Ron Juniors.

Then, things on the home front start breaking down – this kid comes home from school with an ADHD diagnosis, that kid starts going off the derech, instead of fixing Ron, going to work just puts even more pressure on our relationship – and before you know it, the family side of things starts looking really pear-shaped.

Yes, I’d really love my own house again. Yes, I’d really love to have a bit more financial ease.

BUT.

My work, unsaleable as it might currently be, is actually something very precious.

It’s taking Jewish concepts and Breslov insights, and turning them into bona fide practical strategies for how to live life with God, in real time.

After thinking things through last week, (and yelling at Ron a lot), I realized that I would rather carry on doing what I’m doing, and rent for the rest of my life, than sell myself out just to own a house. This stuff has huge repercussions. I know that it’s big stuff, spiritually (and if anyone actually reads it, I think they’ll feel the same way.) And a house is finite and gashmius.

I can’t take it with me at the end of 120 years.

To his credit, Ron was very chastened by the end of Thursday, and by Friday, he was working on his plan for his next new business. It’s up to God if it actually get anywhere, but in the meantime, peace has returned to Gotham City. I’ve returned to my keyboard. And the problem of ‘whose job is it to make the money, anyway?’ has been successfully laid to rest.

At least, for now.

The other day, I walked past a billboard in Meah Shearim for one of the local healthcare providers here in Israel, that had a big picture of a smiley charedi doctor doing two big thumbs up. The slogan underneath read something like: “A billion children’s visits to the doctor!!”

Apparently, the healthcare provider felt that this was cause for some celebration, but I walked away scratching my head.

Israel is not a big country – it’s got about 6 million residents. The number of children is clearly less than that. The number of children going to this particular health care provider (probably around 50%) is even less than that.

Now, I’m not a maths whiz, but that sounds like an awful lot of sick children, too me. I mean, by the time you’re taking them off to the doctor it’s usually already up to a level of ‘serious’.

What’s going on here?

Why are there so many sick children walking around?

(Of course, I have my own ideas, but what do you think?)

On a separate, but related note, I was telling someone about my new book, which G-d willing is approaching completion, which talks tachlis about how to keep ourselves mentally and physically healthy by getting G-d involved in our health.

I’m planning to do two versions – one for the ‘frum’ Jewish world, and one for the non-Jewish world.

She told me very candidly: “You’ve got an uphill struggle. Most people in the Jewish frum world will just tell you ‘G-d made Prozac, and He wants us to use it’, and that’s the end of the conversation.”

I was a little bit shocked.

Are things really that bad? I mean, yes, G-d made Prozac, but He also made heroin, cocaine, Rocket Propelled Grenades, Arab terrorists, internet porn and the IRS.

If someone came up and told me ‘G-d made heroin, and He wants me to use it to feel happy’ – that argument really wouldn’t fly with me.

G-d made EVERYTHING, in the world, absolutely everything. Our job down here is to choose between ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and between ‘what G-d wants’ and ‘what G-d doesn’t want’.

Sometimes, I can’t believe the moral madness I’m trying to deal with. If I was dealing with a bunch of atheists who were big believers in the idea that ‘bodies are all there is’, and they were telling me this stuff, that would be one thing. But when you’re dealing with the people who are meant to be the ‘light unto the nations’? It’s kinda depressing.

When G-d is out of the picture, who’s to say using heroin is wrong? I mean, if you could get it on prescription, what’s the problem? It’s probably cheaper to produce and has less side affects than most of the other things being produced by Glaxo…

Sigh.

One step at a time. One day at a time.

And who knows? Maybe one day, someone in Meah Shearim will still buy my book.

I’ve been considering writing this post, or something similar for months now. I haven’t, because I’ve had enough other things on my plate to contemplate, and also I didn’t know if my observations on the Erev Rav would be useful or accurate. But a couple of things have kind of jogged my hand now, so here it is, in all it’s glory.

I spent literally a couple of years’ researching the Erev Rav in our holy sources, and you can read a series of articles I wrote on the topic for Rav Arush’s website.

Probably like many people who are reading this, the autistics were the first ones who clued me in to the topic of the Erev Rav in any tangible way, and like many people, I kind of got a bit obsessed with them, hence the whole big write up I did.

When I was writing those articles, I was convinced that if people could just grasp the fundamental ‘badness’ of the Erev Rav, and distance themselves from them, we’d have geula and Moshiach immediately, on a plate.

With time and an awful lot of prayer, I’ve realised that it’s never going to happen that way, and I’ll tell you why:

The Erev Rav are not just evil politicians, mafia bosses and bent judges – they are literally our family members. They are those people who we love, even though perhaps they’ve hurt us badly and repeatedly. They are those people who we really don’t want to give up on, under any circumstances, even when they are so difficult, abusive and nasty.

They’re our siblings, our parents, our children, our cousins, our friends, our kids’ teachers (yup, I’m sure that’s not such a shocker…) etc etc. And that’s why it’s simply never going to work to keep pointing out how bad the Erev Rav are, and what nasty things they’re doing, and how they’re going to permanently disappear from the world very soon.

Let’s be clear that I’m not making any excuses for them at all, but there is another angle to the whole Erev Rav episode, and that is that real Jews are never going to give up on their Erev Rav relatives, because a real ‘non-Erev Rav’ Jew is full of compassion. G-d made us that way.

Which brings me to another realisation that I’ve had recently: G-d wants the souls who comprise the Erev Rav back. G-d Himself doesn’t want us to give up on them. He wants us to understand the full, horrible reality of their (and our) situation, and then to pray, fervently, for His help and salvation.

I know this flies in the face of the autistics, which is why I’ve hesitated to write this. I don’t for one minute think the autistics are ‘wrong’ – everything I’ve always read on Dani18, and Galia beforehand, has always had the indelible ring of truth.

But over the years’, I’ve come to believe that there is a higher truth, maybe you could call it ‘tzaddik’ truth, as Moshe Rabbenu himself was also of the view that G-d really wanted the Erev Rav back in the fold.

Spiritually, the souls of the Erev Rav and Am Yisrael derive from the same root, namely Adam’s sin (not when he ate the fruit, but when he ’emitted seed’ for 130 years’ afterwards. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s all in the Gemara and also the Zohar, so go and look it up for yourselves.)

Those souls came back as the Generation of the Flood; then came back again as the Generation of the Dispersion; they came back again as the people of Sdom; and then they came back again as the sheep Yaacov Avinu took away with him as his wages for working for Lavan. (No, that’s not a typo. Some big rabbis in the past who were aware of their previous incarnations even ‘remembered’ being a sheep in Yaacov Avinu’s flock.)

That was the beginning of their real rectification. The next time these souls – the biggest souls G-d ever created, which is why we Jews have the biggest evil inclinations – came back was in Egypt, with Moshe Rebbenu.

We all know that 4/5 of Am Yisrael died in the plague of darkness; what is less well known is that exactly the same numbers of Egyptians converted, to come out with Am Yisrael.

G-d swapped like for like: the only real difference between the souls of authentic Am Yisrael and the Erev Rav is that the latter group are further back in the process of being rectified.

Whoever didn’t get fixed from that time is now back in our time, which is why there are so, so many people walking around who fit the Sages’ descriptions of the Erev Rav to a tee.

And many of them are the people we love and deeply care for.

Are you prepared to consign those people to ‘eternal damnation’, or spiritual oblivion? Are you prepared to give up on them, even if they are Erev Rav?

The answer for every real Jew is ‘no’ – which is why we’re stuck. We CAN’T separate from them, even if we really know for sure that our horrible sister is Erev Rav, or our tearaway son is Erev Rav, or our nasty mother-in-law is Erev Rav (OK, that last one is probably do-able ☺)

Who arranged things this way?

G-d did.

Why?

I can’t say for sure, but I believe with all my heart that He wants us to pray for them, and tap into G-d’s infinite compassion for all of His creations. Yes, I know the autistics wouldn’t approve. But their truth, true as it is, is not necessarily G-d’s truth.

And if I’m correct about that, then instead of wasting our time pointing fingers about the evil Erev Rav – and believe me, a lot of them are even worse than you think – we need to go and do some serious praying for G-d to fix them. Otherwise, I can’t see any other way of Geula coming the sweet way that we all fervently hope it will.

So there I was, coming towards the end of completing the manuscript for my new book, which Bezrat Hashem, will give people tons of powerful tools for figuring out what’s going on with them, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

I just passed the 120,000 word mark, and it really is full of good, even revolutionary, stuff.

After months of gloom and pessimism, I was beginning to feel positive and confident again – and my yetzer hates that. So it sent me a week of disturbing bad dreams to soften me up a bit, and then it hit me with one of the most horrible days I’ve had for a long time.

Externally, nothing was really going. Internally, I started to feel filled up with despair and futility.

“No-one’s going to read your book…you’re just wasting your time…why even bother finishing it?…just go and do the washing up, already, and forget about your aspirations to build the world…”

And so on and so forth.

This carried on for a few hours, until I literally started to feel there was no point to life generally, and my life, specifically.

Has that ever happened to you? Do you get what I’m talking about?

Lucky for me, I was in the middle of listening to a class by Rav Ofer Erez in the car, and I was too despairing to even be bothered to turn it off. So I sat there, while Rav Erez started talking about ‘Klipat Amalek’, and how it’s big thing was to get a person so despairing that they give up on themselves, and stop believing that G-d is interested in them, or wants to help them, or that they can change.

Despite myself, I started listening.

Then, Rav Erez explained how he’d been talking with a big shrink in Israel, who’d been telling him that when a person gives up on themselves – when they get despairing, or yeoush, then they can’t be helped.

Their despair is what’s blocking their recovery, and the big turnaround in their life and fortunes.

I started to feel better.

I came home, started work on the book again, and I saw I was up to the part where I brought the idea from Rav Arush about how you can tell if the voice in your head is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, which is absolutely brilliant in its simplicity.

In a nutshell, good things, good thoughts, come from the side of ‘good’; and bad ideas and bad thoughts come from the side of ‘bad’.

All those bad ideas about how I was wasting my time, how my book was rubbish, how it was just going to sink without a trace etc etc – that was just my evil inclination!

Again, I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but when you’re in the middle of these tests, the biggest problem is that the voice of bad really sounds so convincing and ‘honest’.

Once I had clarity again, that the voice in my head wasn’t ‘realistic’, it was just plain evil and ‘Klipat Amalek’, I started to fight back. The next day, I finished two big, long chapters, and I set myself the goal of getting the whole draft completely done by February 1, G-d willing.

Rebbe Nachman taught us ‘there is no despair in the world’. He didn’t mean that we don’t feel despair, because we often do, especially in this difficult generation. What he meant, is that even if we’ve despaired of ourselves, and our abilities to improve or change, we should never despair of G-d’s love, and help.

G-d continues to believe in us, even when we’ve given up. He sends us CDs with just the right words we need to hear; holy rabbis to guide our path; great, simple, powerful advice to help us see that He didn’t give up on us.

His hand is always open, to lift us out of the mud and despair we’ve fallen into. So look for His hand in your own life, and grab it!

This is one of those posts that’s so hard to write, but so important to set down, some how. We’d all love to live in a world where people only gave out positive energy, and had good characteristics, and treated us with generosity of spirit, kindness and truth.

Thank G-d, that stuff does still happen.

But as people get more and more disconnected from G-d, and more and more disconnected from that spark of G-d in themselves that’s called the neshama, or soul, the more they’re falling prey to all sorts of serious ‘soul sicknesses’.

Rav Arush writes about soul sickness at length in many of his books, but particularly in the Garden of Healing. There, he spells it out very clearly that the further away a person gets from G-d, and from having emuna, the more soul-sick they’ll be.

He defines ‘soul-sickness’ as all those negative emotions that we all have, like jealousy, angry, worry, arrogance etc; and explains that the more severe soul-sicknesses can show up as diagnoses for severe mental illnesses, including personality disorders.

Secular medicine has no cure for things like personality disorders and schizophrenia. Their best effort is to offer pills to try to drug away the worst symptoms, and if that doesn’t work, their next big suggestion is to stick someone away in an institution for the rest of their lives.

Spiritually, there is a solution, and it’s one that works wonders: learn more emuna. Rav Arush, and I’m sure others too, teach that the more emuna a person has, the more they try to see G-d in their lives, and to include Him, and to talk to Him, the more spiritually-healthy they will be.

When everyone starts following that advice, the world will be a peaceful, amazing, sane beautiful place to live in…but in the meantime, I thought I’d put together some energetic advice on how to deal with the crazy people who can suck all the life and joy out of you, if you’re not careful.

The following things have worked for me, or for others, in some very difficult situations, enabling us to deal with ‘negative people’ without getting angry, sick or crazy themselves (no small achievement!)

Some of them sound weird, but don’t knock it until you try it. None of these things can do you any harm, and they could help you tremendously.

1) Shower

Before and / or after dealing with someone you know is ‘difficult’, take a shower. Nothing washes away negativity like a bit of hot water.

2) Do the ‘G-d is everywhere’ exercise every morning (see below)

3) Carry your invisible umbrella ­- if you know in advance you’re dealing with a difficult person who sucks you dry and exhausts, keep them out of your personal space as much as possible. Put up your ‘invisible umbrella’ to keep people at arm’s length; if they’re trying to hug you, stand to close to you, pat your arm etc, gently move away, so they’re no closer to you than they would be if you were holding an umbrella. If you have to, don’t be scared to police your invisible boundary forcefully. They’ll get the message sooner or later.

4) Try to stand with them on your right-hand side – energetically, we absorb far more on the left-side, and are far more vulnerable from that direction.

5) Cross your arms – many of us do this automatically when we’re around people who are a bit ‘too much’ for us. But energetically, it really does repel negative vibes.

6) Understand what you’re dealing with: and that it’s not your responsibility (or fault) if they’re unhappy and negative. We don’t have to ‘fix’ other people – and even if we want to, we can’t! We are each responsible for our own outlook and happiness, so don’t let a negative person make their problem, your problem. Keep your distance from them, emotionally, and try not to take their griping, unhappiness, rage fits and attempts to control and manipulate you personally. If despite all your efforts, you still get zapped with bad vibes, try the following:

7) ‘Give it back to G-d’ exercise – (see below). And then:

8) Take a bath in baking soda – I know this sounds mega-weird, but in practise is really does help a person feel more grounded, ‘together’ and cleaned-off from all the emotional ‘ick’.

B’hatslacha, and I’m certainly looking forward to a time very soon when we won’t need these exercises any more…

‘G-d is everywhere’ exercise

Rub your hands together, and shake them off.

Rub them together again, and then put them palms facing either side of your ears.

Bring your elbows together in front your face, and then cross your arms over each other, and sweep them out to the side.

Cross your arms over in front of you again, and again sweep out to the side. Do these criss-cross movements in front of you all the way down your body and legs, until you get to the floor.

Have in mind that G-d is protecting you, and keeping you cocooned off in His kindness and light.

When you reach the floor, put your two arms together, kind of like an elephant’s trunk, and make sweeping figure 8 movements around your body, as you come back up from your legs to your head.

Take the ‘Figure 8’ movements up to past your head, then put your two arms together, backs of hands touching, above your head, and then bring them gently down to the sides of your body.

Imagine as you do this, that you are literally in a cocoon of Divine protection.

 

‘Give it back to G-d’ exercise

Rub your hands together and shake them off.

Bring your hands together in front of your chest, palms touching.

Zoom one hand up, palm up, to G-d, and zoom one hand down, palm down, as though kind of ‘leaning’ on the ground.

Stretch.

Now, switch sides – zoom the ‘up’ hand to the ‘down’ position, and vice-versa.

While you’re doing this, have in mind that you are giving whatever you need to back to G-d, to take care of, while retaining whatever experience, learning or ‘good’ you need to keep hold of.

Do this another 2 times on both sides.

Then, bend over with your arms down in front of you, and take 2 deep breaths.

Now, slowly stand up, rolling your arms up your body as you do so. (Imagine you’re rolling a beach ball up your body.)

Take your arms above your head, and bring them down to your sides.

Imagine, as you do this, that G-d is covering you in protective mantle of Divine light.

A couple of days’ ago, I was driving on the motorway on the way to Ramat Bet Shemesh. It was the day after the snow/rain/snow storm in Jerusalem, and the roads were still pretty wet, but I don’t think they were icy.

I came over a hill around 70 km an hour, I turned the wheel left to follow the road round – and the wheel stayed turned to the right, putting me into a direct collision course with the barrier.

Uhoh.

I pumped the brakes (I think – I can’t really remember the logistical details) and the car went into a spin. I was sure I was about to have a crash, but G-d did a big miracle for me, and spun my car around 180 degrees, in the emergency lane by the side of the road.

All this happened at the top of a hill, which meant no-one could see that I’d had an accident until they’d already crashed into me, G-d forbid. As I sat on the hard shoulder waiting for the panic to hit after this massive near-miss, I realised something strange: I actually wasn’t panicking.

Yes, I was breathing a bit hard, and I felt a little bit shaken up, but really, almost nothing.

Bizarre!

What could explain my lack of ‘stress response?’ A minute later, I’d restarted the car, turned it around and was driving on to my appointment in RBS. I know myself pretty well, and especially after the accident I had last year, there is no way that I could have normally acted like that straight after a big skid on a motorway with articulated lorries rushing by.

There are two possible explanations: either, my emuna is now really, really high (which I doubt, because I still screamed blue murder at the kid who didn’t want to go to school today. I don’t think I could have ‘accident’ emuna and not have ‘annoying kid’ emuna, but really, who knows what’s the bigger test sometimes…)

OR

My Triple Warmer is practically comatose, because I’ve been sedating it to death every day for two months.

You’ll recall that Triple Warmer meridian governs the fight or flight response, which is occasionally useful (like if a Hamas terrorist was running after you), but otherwise, not.

I reacted so calmly to my near-miss car accident, even at the time it struck me as bizarre. Instead of my brain freezing, I just started talking to G-d about hoping I wasn’t about to have a bad crash.

Energy medicine is sometimes so gentle, even I sometimes wonder if anything’s really happening. I guess I got something like an answer, when I nearly crashed. You can’t fake your reaction in situations like that, and I really was unnaturally calm.

So it looks like this stuff really does work, in whatever way G-d intends it to.

Of course, the real kudos still go to the Al-mighty, for the tremendous miracle He pulled off for me. I doubt the calm state would have lasted very long if I’d gone down the side of the mountain or been hit side-on by a lorry.

Thanks, G-d! You’re the best.

I’m busy writing the draft of my book on Jewish Energy Medicine, and I just got up to the section describing Rav Arush’s 8 Deeper Needs, and how they can severely impact our sense of health and well-being if they’re not being met, in some way.

Deeper Need number 5 is ‘Sense of Purpose’. Without giving the whole game away, I’m reproducing the ‘Sense of Purpose – Rules to live by’ for you to print off and stick on your fridge while you’re waiting for the book to come out so you can order 10 copies to give to all your friends (I’m working on my optimism, can you tell?)

Enjoy!

Rules to live by – Sense of Purpose

  1. My husband signed the ketuba not me.
  2. The Arizal taught that the main soul correction we’re all here to do is to learn emuna.
  3. Men learn emuna (and correct their souls) via making parnassa; women learn emuna (and correct their souls) via their families.
  4. When I try to do my husband’s job, two things happen: I prevent him from learning emuna and turning to G-d; and I prevent myself from doing my own soul correction, because I’m off trying to be a man, instead of being a mother.
  5. When there are financial issues, they are ONLY coming to teach the man emuna and to get him to make teshuva. (this sounds controversial, but it’s all based on Rav Arush and Torah.)
  6. The Gemara tells us: honour your wives and become rich. This is a big clue about what the man might need to make teshuva on. Other big ‘money’ issues include: lack of tznius (including ogling other women on the internet) spilling seed (including using birth control without rabbinical approval) anger; and, of course, lack of emuna.
  7. ‘Lack of emuna’ is when people refuse to see G-d behind their financial issues, and instead blame their wives for not working, or not working enough.
  8. Spiritually, women are the pipe of abundance for the home, including for finances. If we’re miserable – even if we’re working 3 jobs – our finances will be lousy. If we’re happy – even if we aren’t working at all – our finances will be blessed, even if there isn’t a lot of money.
  9. ‘Work’ is not the same as ‘purpose’, and for women, they can often be diametrically opposed.
  10. It’s not ‘forbidden’ for a woman to work, and it’s not even a bad thing, but only under the following circumstances:
    • She has to enjoy it enough to do it for free.
    • It doesn’t come ahead of her children, or at least, not on a regular basis (the odd deadline, the odd ‘big’ push is fine, but not as a regular way of life.)
    • She has to WANT to be doing it, and not just doing it because her husband refuses to learn some emuna.